Friday, May 6, 2011

Only in Philly

As we gear up for the big move, it's easy to become nostalgic... I always do this, and I'm sure a year from now I'll be like driving around for 30 minutes looking for parking? Aw, that was part of the charm of living in Center City, guys!

But one of the many things I do love about the city of Philadelphia, and so many other cities I've been to/feel like home to me is the shorthand among residents that instantly give you a sense of belonging, a common touchstone that makes you feel like you are really Philly, whether you're from here or not.
 Now, Mike, he's really from here, and Northeast Philadelphia is in his blood. And whatever you do don't try to tell him you're from Philly if you were not born and raised within the city limits. It's one of the few perks, I guess, of paying astronomical taxes for some exceptionally sub-par civil services, you can at least claim to really be FROM PHILLY.

This little phenomenon plays out probably at least once a week, if not more, in my life, but I wanted to tell a story of something that encapsulates it so well for me, about someone sooo Philly, that only this city would claim him. And that someone is Jerry Blavat aka "The Geator with The Heator"

Not familiar? A little background:
Years ago, while working at QVC, I was in charge of the "guest calendar" - basically I had to let our graphics department know when there were guests scheduled to be on air so that they could be featured throughout the day.  We're talking the big leagues; Joan Rivers (no seriously, I love her), Tova & Ernest Borgnine (ditto), Jessica Simpson (eh), Heidi Klum (too blinded by goddess-ness to get an accurate read, but seemed nice), Paula Deen (mouth like a sailor, so natch, love), Marie Osmond (she.makes.dolls.), and too many others to mention. So I'm going about my business, finding my peeps, and I get an irate email from my boss' boss, because I left a major celebrity off of the calendar and it wasn't the first time I had missed them. I freak out and immediately call her, promising to go up to graphics and enter the info myself, and oh my god how could this happen, etc., etc., and I said,
"Who did I miss?"
she said, "Jerry Blavat!"
and I said, "Who??"
"Jerry Blavat! The famous DJ! Are you too young? You should have googled him!"

Oh, I googled him alright. And this is what I came upon:
Um. Ok?

Upon further inspection (read: Wikipedia) I found out that he was a famous LOCAL DJ who debuted the original Bandstand (ohhh impressive) broadcast to Philadelphia and surrounding markets (oh.).

Now, QVC is a national company, right? I'm supposed to be promoting celebrities who would appeal to the masses, but my boss and everyone else weighing in was from Philadelphia, they had in fact grown up in awe of the geator's heat (or whatever) and man could he sell out an AC casino! So he was on.the.list., and no amount of arguing from me could change that.

We got the man (the myth, the legend) himself involved in a particularly embarrassing scene when he was in to do his show (note: he was there to sell those big sets of 60s music that you always see on infomercials and are totally tempted to buy bc they do have a lot of great songs... and like 300 you've never heard).

Before I know it, this blessed Kangol cap (see photo) is IN my cubicle! Explaining to me how he knew "Frank" and "Dean" and still talks to Dick Clark.

Me? I almost peed my pants. Then I apologized.

And he was never left off of the guest schedule again, leaving QVC viewers everywhere (outside of Philly) to find out about his magic here:

Oh wait, a Mafia Connections section?

Awesome tote from


  1. i own that tote bag! my friend sent it to me for my birthday. i rock it on the streets of england...represent!

  2. Nice, Court!
    Though you better not rock it with Yankees/Giants gear!!!

  3. I'm sorry, I am DYING laughing about this Kangol hat-wearing "legend." Too good, Katie!